New survey: customers want ‘concierge service’ from in-vehicle apps

LIVONIA—Personal security and trip assistance are the top priorities among consumers for in-vehicle apps, according to a new survey from Escalent, the Livonia based human behavior analytics firm.

The study, Meet the Connected Car Concierge: How Automakers Can Delight Consumers & Win offers a view of the wide adoption advantage tech giants have built with their apps over automakers’ proprietary products, and outlines a road map to success for automakers to close the gap with services that cater to efficiency, entertainment, health and safety.

“Google and Apple are making the most of their ‘share of mind’ advantage in the connected car space as OEMs struggle to maintain pace with ubiquitous, easy-to-use apps like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay,” said Mark Carpenter, managing director for the United Kingdom at Escalent. “However, automakers can establish a beachhead in this competition by positioning their connected car offerings as niche ‘concierge’ services that enhance journeys and improve experiences.”

The survey’s results clearly reflect the barriers automakers face, as eight in ten respondents said they don’t use OEM apps. Further, 56 percent of drivers surveyed indicated they didn’t know about OEM app offerings, while another 27 percent said they don’t see value in using them.

The study’s findings reveal there is significant appetite for features that make their trips safer, easier and more efficient, with consumers ranking the features listed below by importance:

  • Personal security and anti-theft (71 percent)
  • Navigation and traffic information (61 percent)
  • Vehicle health and maintenance information (56 and 50 percent, respectively)
  • Advanced driving assistance systems (47 percent)

By developing solutions that address these needs directly and uniquely, OEMs can close the gap with big tech companies and stimulate increased adoption and usage.

To learn more about the steps automakers should take to drive proprietary app adoption, and to review the full study, visit

This white paper references data from two Escalent studies. In one, Escalent interviewed a United States-based sample of 1,000 consumers 18 years of age and older in September 2018. Respondents were recruited from the Dynata and Ipsos panels of U.S. adults and interviewed online. Quotas achieved a sample of age, gender, income and ethnicity that matched the demographics of the U.S. population. In the other, Escalent interviewed a sample of 1,012 consumers from Germany, Spain and the UK 18 years of age and older from June 25 to July 9, 2019. Respondents were recruited from the Full Circle opt-in online panel of European adults and interviewed online. The data were weighted by age, gender and census region to match the demographics of the European population. The samples of both studies come from opt-in online panels. As such, reported margins of error or significance tests are estimated and rely on the same statistical assumptions as data collected from a random probability sample. Escalent will supply the exact wording of any survey question upon request.

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